Joe Millionaire
Pearl Necklace

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The Butler Did It!

Classical music plays as we see slow-motion footage of a guy digging a trench and then driving a backhoe (or something -- I don't claim to know my large construction equipment as well as I possibly should). I love that the producers didn't even want to spring for actual classical music, so they have original music that they probably recorded from their Casio that almost sounds like a classical song with which you would be familiar. A cultured voice intones, "Once, there was an average Joe who made a humble living by simply moving dirt." The dirt is dramatically dumped into a trench. Well, it's kind of difficult to make dumping dirt dramatic, but the slow motion helps. The announcer invites us to "meet Evan Marriott." He pronounces Evan's last name "MARE-ee-ott." My theory is he didn't want to pronounce it like the hotel chain, lest we think that Evan really is rich. We get our first glimpse of Evan, who is clad in a plaid flannel and jeans, with dark scraggly hair and an unshaven face. Because poor people don't have access to razors or scissors -- really, cutting implements of any sort. The announcer lets us know that Evan's annual income is $19,000. Evan crams a hamburger into his mouth in slow motion. Because he's not fancy! He wears flannels and eats fast food! The announcer asks, "What will happen when this average Joe is transformed into a multimillionaire?" Montage of Evan getting a haircut and putting on fancy clothes. Evan gets lessons in choosing wine and dancing as the announcer says, "He will be taught the ways of the wealthy." Evan gets on a horse. Because all rich people do is sit around and drink wine and ride horses. And brush up on their waltzing skills. In fact, I heard that just last week, Bill Gates invited Warren Buffett to his house for a wine-tasting gala. Did you know Warren does a mean foxtrot?

The announcer continues, "Now, Evan will invite twenty women to a chateau in France, who believe he has just inherited over $50 million." That was an awkward sentence. It almost sounded like the chateau believes that Evan got a big fat check. Two women ride up to the chateau, and one of them screeches, "Oh my God! It's a castle!" Actually, it's a chateau. I don't know what the difference is, though. ["I feel like a castle would have at least one turret of some sort." -- Sars] Various other women ride up, and express their shock and disbelief about their surroundings. One of them proclaims, "This is a fairy tale." Keep that in mind; it's a continuing motif. Various women appear in interviews. I'm not even going to pretend I know their names yet, and it really doesn't matter at this point. One says, "If a man has fifty million, that's fabulous." Another says, "The man of my dreams is honest." Not to mention willing to debase himself by going on a stupid reality show. Evan rides up to the chateau on horseback, and the women ooh and ahh over how handsome he is.

The announcer tells us, "He will lavish them with riches in order to find the woman who will love him for who he is." How does that even make sense? Wouldn't it make more sense to say, "He will lavish them with riches and then tell them the truth about his income in order to find the woman who will love him for who he is"? Stupid writers. We see footage of Evan getting into a hot tub with some ladies, and then later presenting them with emerald necklaces. In an interview, one woman says that she's never dated someone who made a lot of money. Well, technically, Fake Evan doesn't make a lot of money. He was given a lot of money. Evan takes another woman on a date to Paris, where they see the Eiffel Tower. He takes a different woman on a date to the Moulin Rouge. The real thing, not the Baz Luhrmann movie. Another woman gets to go on a jet, and they see a rainbow. Evan is so rich, he can make rainbows appear! One woman says, "We're living in a fairy tale. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, like, will it have a fairy tale ending, or won't it?" Again with the fairy tale motif. In an interview, Evan says that he tries not to think about having to explain his back story, because he's afraid if he thinks about it too much, he'll slip up. Foreshadowing! At a ball, Evan stumbles over his words while trying to answer a woman's question.

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Joe Millionaire

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